Sexual abuse at the hands of church clergy should never happen. Church leadership is a position of trust, guidance, and spiritual authority. Unfortunately, clergy sexual abuse is a worldwide phenomenon. This level of violation can have a lifelong impact.
Consider working with a Santa Clarita clergy abuse lawyer today to learn how you can seek justice for sexual abuse, even if it took place many years ago. Our attorneys Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are compassionate when dealing with sensitive cases, and we do not shy away from challenges. Plus, you pay nothing upfront, and we only charge a fee if we win, so call today at (800) 219-9622.
Reporting Clergy Sexual Abuse
Many sexual abuse cases never get reported. One reason is that children may not understand what is happening or how to report the crime. Another scenario is that the abuse happened a long time ago, and an adult victim might think it is too late. There is also the issue of privacy.
With survivors sharing their stories, many people feel empowered to share their own and seek justice. More than ever, victims are speaking their truth.
For clergy sexual abuse, the statistics are not all-inclusive, as many cases go unreported or mishandled. Reuters reported that from 1950 to 2002, more than 6,000 clerics faced abuse charges in America.
Clergy sexual abuse can involve any religion. However, the Roman Catholic Church is the most discussed and well-known religious institution with clergy sexual abuse. Clergy in the Catholic Church include priests, decons, and bishops, and someone in these positions can potentially hurt members of the congregation. Church leaders have access to many people, including children, and have a duty to act responsibly at all times.
When a clergy member sexually abuses a child or adult by sexually touching, groping, raping, or any other form of sexual assault, they have committed a crime through the law and broke their vows they made to the church.
Justice for Clergy Sexual Abuse
If a clergy member sexually abused you, you might wonder how to get the justice you deserve. Bringing a case against clergy and the institution that failed to keep you safe can bring about closure. It can also provide relief, knowing that that person and organization must take accountability, ensuring no one else gets hurt. Closure and protecting would-be victims are sources of healing for many survivors. A civil lawsuit involves monetary damages and possible criminal prosecution.
Damages awarded by a court will not heal every aspect associated with sexual abuse at a clergy member’s hands. However, the financial support gained from your case can help the healing process. There are immeasurable ways that sexual abuse can impact your life financially. Winning a civil lawsuit can help to relieve some of the costs related to the abuse. Money damages often include:
- Past, current, or future counseling and mental health services
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Each case is unique, so the exact amount survivors are entitled to vary. The victim’s age, the extent, and the duration of the abuse all play a role in monetary awards. Be sure to contact your Santa Clarita clergy abuse lawyer to discuss your case’s specifics to get a better idea of your case’s value.
Bringing forward a case of clergy sexual abuse, especially a recent event, may lead to criminal prosecution. Victims are often asked to speak during criminal trials. Whether your abuse is criminally prosecuted or not, you can still pursue monetary damages through civil court.
For a free legal consultation with a Clergy Abuse Lawyer serving Santa Clarita, call (800) 794-0444
Privacy and Settlements
Opening wounds of the past is never easy. The trauma may have caused psychological disorders like depression, self-harm, panic attacks, and sleep disorders. Survivors of sexual abuse pursue justice for various reasons and deserve the utmost privacy and dignity.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we empathize with your concerns. We first attempt to settle before going to trial. In fact, most cases will resolve before ever seeing a day in court. This is preferable, as resolution comes quickly, and it is easier to maintain privacy.
However, settling out of court is not always possible. In these situations, we fight in your corner so that you do not have to be alone. In our pursuit of justice, we maintain your privacy as much as possible.
Santa Clarita Clergy Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Statute of Limitations in California
There are statutes of limitations for civil claims involving sexual abuse, namely the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §340.1. For this reason, it is best to act as soon as you can to file a claim. Thankfully, there have been changes in the laws which give you more time to file a claim. Be sure to check with us to see if you have made the cut-off, as the laws are situation-dependent and confusing.
California’s statute of limitations depends on if the victim was a child or an adult over 18. For adults, victims have ten years from the last incident of sexual abuse. This is a new statute that took effect on January 1, 2019. If the incident occurred before this date, you have three years to file, unless it happened during childhood.
Since January 2020, victims of sexual abuse who experienced abuse during childhood will have until their 40th birthday to file a civil lawsuit. This allows many more victims to get the justice they deserve, as it is incredibly difficult to come forward about sexual abuse.
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If you are considering a lawsuit against clergy, contact your lawyers today for a free consultation. There is no obligation and nothing out of pocket to speak with us about your case. We can review the details of your and devise a recoverable amount. If you are looking for information for your child, the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help.
While in church, you deserve a safe environment. Those who abuse their powers of authority to exploit others for sexual gratification must be stopped. You deserve compensation from the person and possibly the organization that failed to keep you safe, like the Roman Catholic Church. Consider working with your Santa Clarita clergy abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today. Call us at (800) 219-9622 for a free, no-obligation consultation.